Twilight Times Feature
with Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Interviewer: Lida Quillen
1. Does your creativity express itself in ways other than writing?
Well, I tried being a cereal killer, but it got too messy. I tried gardening, but the only things I grew with profusion were weeds… dandelions being my specialty. I lent my hand to painting but after I couldn't get the window up, I decided that craft wasn't for me.
After I sewed the sleeve of my blouse to the skirt I was making, I realized being a seamstress was out of the question. And I got so wrapped up in the macramé I fell down the stairs so that didn't work for me, either. I can't be trusted not to run with scissors so scherenschnitte is a no-no for me. Likewise I'm not allowed to have sharp objects so knitting is out. I am thinking of taking up cake design, but that will have to wait until we remodel the kitchen and that won't be until we get the check from the insurance company and we won't get that until the fire marshal signs off on the "Cherries Jubliee" disaster. It may be awhile.
2. Do you feel you were creative, even as a child?
I lied a lot when I was a child. My stories could top anything anyone else came up with. My imaginary friends were far more interesting than theirs and my whoppers were so big, so vivid and creative, my mother tended to be impressed so her whippings weren't particularly fierce.
I spent a lot of time standing in the corner, my mouth stinging from the soap bubbles, so I had plenty of opportunity to create even more vivid stories. You know: going to bed on an empty stomach lends itself to fashioning great moments of angst for your characters.
3. Could you share with the story behind the story? In other words, how did your writing lead you to your first novel?
It began when I put my hands on the keyboard. There was this clacking sound and a little black line-like thingie began moving across the monitor, leaving letters in its wake. When I'd stop moving my fingers, the little black line-like thing would just sit there and pulse! It seemed to be waiting for me to make the next move.
Freaky, let me tell you!! Then, I'd move my fingers some more and more letters popped up on the monitor and…would you believe it?… formed words. I read the words and decided they were good. That was the evening of the first day. After that, it became routine: Come into the office; sit down; put my hands on the keyboard; make clacking sounds and words magically appeared.
Pretty soon, the words strung themselves together and created a paragraph, then another, then another! After several weeks of this, I had pages of strung-together words. I sat back, stared at them, and realized they told a story! Now, what are the odds of that happening?
4. How did you prepare for the creation of your first novel? How much research was necessary?
When you are genius, you need no preparation. Research is unnecessary since you hold all the information ever discovered, ever imagined in the world in the tips of your talented fingers. All you need do is sit down and make clacking sounds and the art pours forth like honey….or dandruff, I forget which…from a comb. Your words magically make sense and you instill in your reader a sense of awe that you are so brilliant. You make the world a better place for having strung letters together with a little black line-like thingie.
5. What kind of reaction do people have to your writing?
I have seen them running down the street, hands to their faces, eyes wide, mouths agape as they scream in terror when told the books aren't out in print yet. One or two have had to be institutionalized, but that is rare. Those who have sat glassy-eyed in front of their computer screens to devour my e-books will go days without eating and weeks without sex just to finish the story. I have been told they can't get the plot out of their heads. That is winds its way through their cerebral cortex and into their memory centers and nests there like a Reaper parasite.
Once firmly latched onto their numero uno oblongata, it sends out this message: Buy her new book. You must buy her new book. In the dead of night, you will see my readers walking zombie like through the aisles of their local Barnes and Nobel and repeating: "I must have Charlee's books." Reviewers have been known to sit eagerly in front of their computers for hours on end waiting for the ARCs to drop into their email accounts. One or two have taken out contracts on fellow reviewers who beat them publishing a review. ::sigh:: The price one pays for stardom.
6. Do you find anything difficult in the writing process, and if so what?
Well, my 'e' key had been sticking lately and that has certainly been a nuisance. I tried spraying it with Dust Off and blew that sucker right off the keyboard. It slid under the monitor and flew off the desk and into the mouth of my eldest cat who happened to be yawning at the time. He swallowed it, yelped: "Eeeeeeeee!" and went tearing out of the room. I guess I'll just have to make do without it. Well, at least until he makes do-do with it. It's hard typing without my 'e' and the middle finger of my left hand keeps getting stuck between the 'w' and the 'r'.
7. Do you currently have any writing projects?
Yes, but if I tell you about them, then you'll know what they are.
8. Is there anything else you would like to add?
2 and 2 are 4. 4 and 4 are 8 and 8 and 8 are 16.
Charlotte Boyett-Compo is the author of twenty-one books, the first nine of which are the WindLegend Saga.
Visit one of her publishing houses at Twilight Times Books (http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com ), Hard Shell Word Factory (http://www.hardshell.com ) and Amber Quill Press (http://amberquill.com) to learn more about her available books and what's coming up next.
She has a new sword & sorcery romance book, The Windhealer: Book Four of the WindLegends Saga series) coming out in July and DarkWind, the long-awaited sequel to BloodWind, will be out in November.
Drop by her website at http://www.windlegends.com to get know a little about her. Please be sure to sign the guest book so she'll know you came by for a visit.
Check out Charlee's interview at Sharp Writers.
Reviews of Charlee's books:
"IN THE WIND'S EYE is an exciting Reconstruction Era romance that may seem to follow the rules of the sub-genre, but actually is extremely
complex and filled with twists. The story line is exciting, yet very dark as it brings to life the aftermath of the Civil War on the
losers. Anyone who takes pleasure from a story about that period will find the deep layers of Charlotte Boyett-Compo's skills turn her
plot into a triumphant complex historical fiction. ... it has some of the best writing I have ever seen. I predict this author will make
it big time in the near future."
"BLOOD WIND, the first novel in the "Wind Demon" trilogy, is an exciting science fiction tale that uses romance and vampire elements
to enhance a strong plot. The story line never slows down as readers observe an advanced technological society using its science to
control and change people. Cree has many vampire traits, but love is not supposed to be in his genetic make-up. Does he love Bridget, an
intrepid heroine who turns his bark into more than his bite, because of science or his heart? Charlotte Boyett-Compo has written a
fabulous novel that will leave readers thirsting for books two and three.This is one of the best new authors I have come across in a
long time. Her storytelling abilities are brilliant and I can't wait to read the next books in this series or anything else she writes.
Don't pass on this book. It is well worth waiting for."